Light scares away dark figures. It is therefore not surprising that there are more and more surveillance cameras with integrated lighting (guides). They range from spotlight cams to LED outdoor lights with cameras and so-called floodlight cams. The latter have a strong luminosity of up to 3000 lumens. What they all have in common is that they offer colored night vision thanks to the lighting. The image is also clearer, making it easier to identify uninvited guests. Cameras with integrated lighting therefore offer a higher level of security than models without lights.
The Solocam L20 offers 600 lumen LEDs that shine around two centimeters wide around the lens on the edge of the housing. It can also record videos in color at night. Thanks to WLAN and battery, the Solocam L20 can be positioned relatively flexibly. It saves videos with 128-bit encryption on the 7.3 GB memory integrated in the device. When storage space is full, the oldest videos are deleted first to make room for new ones. A NAS and the cloud storage offered by Eufy are not available for the Solocam L20. The support for storing the videos in connection with a Eufy home base, which is delivered together with the Video Doorbell Dual (test report) or Eufycam 2 (test report), should only be possible in the future.
Scope of delivery and other features
The Eufy Solocam L20 weighs 527 grams without the bracket. The housing, which is 7 centimeters deep and tapered towards the rear, has a 2 x 1 cm opening on the underside of the housing for the speaker, which can be loud with a volume of up to 90 db. Together with the microphone on the front of the housing, which is slightly curved towards the front and has a diameter of 11.9 cm, the camera offers an intercom function. On the front is also the lens with a field of view of 135°, which records videos in connection with the CMOS sensor used with a maximum of Full HD in HEVC format (H.265). In addition, motion and light sensors as well as the operating LED are located on the front.
According to the manufacturer, the 13,400 mAh battery offers a runtime of up to four months. However, the manufacturer only achieves these values under favorable conditions and few alarms. In the test, the camera still has a capacity of 39 percent after 36 days of operation and 2367 recorded events. Unfortunately, Eufy does not currently have a compatible solar panel to extend the battery life of the Solocam L20. According to the support forum, however, one is in the works. The camera is weatherproof according to IP67 and, according to the manufacturer, can be used in a temperature range between -20 and 50 degrees Celsius.
The scope of delivery includes a bracket, drilling template and screws for attachment. The brief instructions, which are also available in German, contain detailed information on assembly.
Solocam L20: Pictures
Commissioning the Eufy Solocam L20
The commissioning of the Eufy Solocam L20 is easy in principle, but requires a user account with Eufy. To do this, you need to provide an email address and set up a password. The subsequent e-mail, which ended up in the spam folder in the test, contains a confirmation link that completes the registration.
Users then select the Solocam L20 as the model using the plus sign in the app (the app currently lists it as Solocam Spotlight). First, you connect the camera to a 2.4 GHz WiFi network, the Solocam L20 does not support 5 GHz networks. Then you press the sync button on the top of the case. When this happens, a tone sounds and a QR code is generated in the app. Now you hold the smartphone with the QR code in front of the camera and wait a few seconds until the Solocam L20 has connected to the selected WLAN. The camera is then ready for use and can be controlled via a smartphone app. In addition to the app, users can also call up the live stream and device data via a web application on the desktop. However, it is not possible to configure the devices with this. So far, Eufy has not offered a powerful desktop application such as that offered by Reolink (test).
After starting, the Eufy app shows all previously registered cameras with the last live image recorded, including a security report on alarms that have occurred.
The camera settings can be reached in the standard view via the three-point menu and the gear symbol. They include configuration options for the menu items Motion Detection, Surveillance, Lighting, Video, Audio, Notification, General and Device Sharing.
In section motion detection can users the activity area set the camera. This prevents the camera from capturing people on someone else’s property or public area and thus implements GDPR-compliant operation. To avoid false alarms, users can adjust the detection sensitivity – seven levels are available – and the detection type limit to humans. In the test, the camera managed this perfectly and alarmed people, but not pets, for example.
Under Headlight Settings the 600 lumen LED lighting of the camera can be regulated in terms of brightness and color temperature (4000 to 6000 Kelvin).
Under night vision, users can choose between black and white (B&W night vision) and color night vision. The former only uses the IR LEDs, while the latter also activates the LED spotlight that shines around the lens when motion is detected at night. With the option to turn off, the IR LED and spotlight remain permanently disabled.
And as usual with Eufy, users can share control of the camera with other people. To do this, they must install the Eufy app and register.
Solocam L20: App
Practice: video quality, brightness, siren, intercom, notifications
Thanks to the Full HD resolution, the videos from the camera are very detailed. And with the lights on, it also records color videos at night. At full brightness, the Eufy Solocam L20 illuminates the 135° field of view up to a distance of eight meters. The image is excellently illuminated and objects that are further away can be seen better in a direct comparison with the Arlo Go 2 (test report).
The siren is loud enough at up to 90 db to startle uninvited guests and the integrated intercom function works flawlessly. When it comes to notifications, the Eufy only offers a push function. However, it does not send warning messages via e-mail. Users also have to do without geofencing, which is only possible in connection with a Eufy base station. However, the manufacturer promises that the Solocam models will soon be able to be connected to the manufacturer’s Home Base 2. Then geofencing should also be available for the Solocam L20.
Overall, the Eufy app offers an intuitive user interface that allows users to easily manage the surveillance camera. Those who are not yet very familiar with the app will find useful information on the functions of person detection, adjustment of detection sensitivity, activity zone, siren and alarm, headlight settings and night vision in color under instructions.
Smart home: Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa
The Eufy Solocam L20 also works in conjunction with the voice assistants Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. In combination with a smart display (adviser), users can follow the camera live stream with a compatible device such as Nest Hub or Echo Show.
Appearance, guarantee and price
The Eufy Solocam L20 leaves an excellent impression both visually and haptically. During the 36-day test phase, it survived thunderstorms with heavy rain and hot days with intense sunlight without damage. Eufy grants a twelve-month guarantee on the camera, which regularly changes hands for just under 150 euros. It is currently available for just under 120 euros with a discount of 30 euros.
In the test, the Eufy Solocam L20 convinces in almost every area. Thanks to the integrated 600 lumen LED lighting, it offers colored night vision of up to eight meters. The loud siren should reliably deter many uninvited guests. The fact that you can adjust the lighting in terms of brightness and color temperature and automate activation are also on the plus side. The stable WLAN connection and the live stream that is available quickly are further plus points. Thanks to the ability to identify people when they move, there are almost no false alarms.
We didn’t like the integration options into common smart home systems. Although the camera supports the digital voice assistants from Google and Amazon, the camera cannot be combined with other smart home solutions apart from Homey Pro.
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